When the Pirates make a move that cuts salary -- such as what happened in the Joel Hanrahan trade -- you hear the usual "salary dump" cries. Technically the move was a salary dump. The Pirates saved about $6.5 M in the move. Dumping salary might have even been a key reason to make the move. The Pirates recently signed Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 M deal. So the salary unloaded in the Hanrahan deal is mostly already spoken for.
Pirates fans tend to obsess about the team payroll. For years the team has been losing, and payroll was down around the $50 M range. Fans wondered when the payroll would jump to the $70 M range, like what we've seen from other small market teams. I've always pointed out that teams usually follow a specific pattern.
1. The team gets close to .500.
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